T Nation

Supplements for Hypertension

My dad has been diagnosed with “mild” hypertension - BP 150/100 mmHg. He faces regular episodes of work-related stress and is overweight. In addition to getting him on an exercise regimen, I would like to seek your collective wisdom on what you believe are some effective herbs and supplements for:

  1. stress relief or relaxation
  2. lowering hypertension and improving heart health

First, i would have him clean up his diet. That’s the most important thing to do. Read Beradi’s 7 highly effective eating habits article. It’s probably a good place to start. That should take care of the problem. Most people do not realize that their diet is #1 main reason yet they turn to doctors for precription medications to solve the problems without really doing anything about their diet.

Hope the following helps…
alk as much as possible, perform activities that require more physical movement - wash the car by hand, do some gardening etc

  1. Get him to chill! Do a search on autogenic relaxation…a system of relaxing the muscles to help relax the mind. Encourage him to goal set and prioritise his time at work and don’t sweat the small stuff. Maybe some assertiveness training - just say no to excessive work demands from his employer but in such a way not to get fired!

  2. Ditch the sodium from his diet. It messes with fluid balance. Switch to low salt if he can’t live without it. Watch out for processed foods generally as they often contain hidden salts.

  3. Moderate exercise - no isometrics, heavy lifting, or anything that makes him hold his breath (called the valsalva manouvre). If he does weights, no overhead work, no supine work (drop the bench press!) no decline work, stick to 12-20 reps and stop a rep or two shy of concentric failure.

  4. Moderate CV - RPE 5-6 (60-70% MHR) 20 minutes at least three days a week if not more. Try to get him to be as active as possible outside of the gym I.E. w

  5. Cut way down on anything cafeinated or other stimulants like nicotine - both of which elevate blood pressure dramatically.

  6. Some studies suggest that a small amount of alcohol can be helpfull in lowering BP, balancing cholesterol and reducing CHD risks. 1-2 units a night (small beer, glass of wine - whatever he likes)

With luck and some work, he should be able to avaoid having to use betablockers, Calcium channal blockers or ACE inhibitors, all of which may sort out his BP but have a whole host of unpleasant side effects.

Hope that helps.

I just woke up so the old brain isnt working to great yet but the first thing that keeps coming to mind is green tea.

It can have an effect on both of the symptoms you speak of.

The L-theanine in the green tea will do wonders for the stress, you could also get the l-theanine as a stand alone supp… I use it for sleep help. It simply relax’s you.

Hope that helps

If I think of more I will chime in later.


Hey, there, Ouster. I’m on the road, in Atlanta getting some ART, so unfortunately, my library resources are back at the house. I’ll take a stab at it tomorrow, but it’s probably going to be Sunday or Monday before I can get you something a little more precise.

Valerian root before bedtime is great for relaxation. You mentioned he is overweight, how far overweight?

Thanks for all the great responses folks! T-T, looking forward to your input. Fnord, he’s about 220 and estimated 25-30% bf .


You have some good ideas about healthy living that were posted here. Great job guys! However, when it comes to the lowering of blood pressure I firmly believe that in most cases nothing but meds will do the trick.
And this comes from a guy who is very much into natural health remedies.

I suggest that he see his doctor about getting a good blood pressure med. ACE is good and has the least side effects. He can talk to his doctor about it.

Good Luck with your Dad. It’s nice to see someone so concerned about their father. Your a good man!

Being even mildly overweight increases blood pressure. Even small reductions in weight will reduce it. So, losing weight is a primary goal.

Secondly, intense cardiovascular exercise can have a dramatic effect on blood pressure.

Nutrition is important. Fish oil (high doses of DHA), CoQ10, garlic, vitamin C, arginine, and minerals (magnesium, calcium, and potassium) have all been shown to lower blood pressure. A diet VERY high in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products also improves blood pressure in 2 weeks. Also, if your father smokes, he should stop.

Intense cardio does have a “dramatic effect” on blood pressure. Unfortunately it is temporary. Any positive effect from “intense cardio” usually disapates after two to three hours.

Arginin has mad ea believer out of me…
I have high blood pressure, but worse have white coat syndrome. I went last week for a physical for a new job and as usual therw a reading of 200/130, not too unusual for me in the office, I do have high pressure but at home it is like 150/92… I started taking 10 grams of Argining on an empty stomach about 6 days ago, I noticed a pump athat lasted all day,then yesterday I went and had a stress test, and the in office readins was 160/62!!! a lower number drop of at lesast 50 points, it was taken twice. the top came down from 200 a drop of 40 points. I will continue to take it everyday now.